Why I love Pilates mat:
Practicing Pilates mat helps build a strong, balanced body inside and out, while increasing flexibility through dynamic stretching movements.
As you progress in your practice you will notice improvements in breathing, focus, stress management, and body awareness.
Pilates mat is perfect for beginners because you only need your own body, a mat, and some floor space to start. And perhaps investing in a light set of hand weights down the road.
My Pilates Fit classes take all that is good with classical Pilates and put a functional fitness training twist to the class. Adding light hand weights and/or a long resistance band to some of the exercises challenge our entire musculoskeletal system to improve...
Pilates was developed by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, born in 1883. He spent his life studying the body's healthy movement patterns, first in Germany and later in New York, USA, developing a system called Contrology.
In his beginnings, Joseph worked in a hospital at the end of World War I and originally his exercises were primarily used as rehabilitation for wounded soldiers. Joseph, with his wife, then brought his method to the United States in 1923 and spent years refining his approach for all bodies.
Pilates can be performed on the mat using props or on the equipment, called “apparatus”. Pilates equipment (reformer, cadillac/tower, barrel, stability chair) are unique as it only uses springs, levers, and your own body weight to provide resistance. Pilates mat props (bands, gliders, light hand weights, rings) mimic equipment style movements, maximizing their benefits.
Pilates movements work the whole body as every muscle gets worked from the inside out. Most of...
Over the past several weeks I have been exploring methods of recovery. It’s not simply about resting the body after an exercise session, but about intelligently helping the body heal and functionally move to reach healthy balance within the body.
In the first post I explain there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other parts of the body function best when flexible and mobile.
In the second post I explore how strength training helps build the body to function optimally. I highly recommend strength training with a plan designed by a certified personal trainer, as it’s important to have a solid program and system built to work with your unique set of strengths and weaknesses. More info about training here.
In the third post I delve into stretching and self-massage.
In today's post, I am exploring step four of six of my recommended recovery methods: ways to...
Last week I wrote an article on exercise recovery and mentioned that within the body there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other areas of the body function best with more range of motion. I also briefly explored how six practices can help your body recover from exercise. Each week I will explore the six in more detail.
The first practice I list is strength training, which at first may seem like a funny activity to put in a list about ways to recover from exercise. And while strength training doesn’t directly help our bodies recover from bouts of exercise, what it does do is far more important. Strength training lays the foundation to building a highly functional body. In the end this helps your body perform optimally so that it eases the demands on the body when you exercise, so less recovery is needed.
Strength training develops better force-couple relationships, which in turn creates a...
Exercise recovery is more than just resting after a workout. In this article I go over a few important practices that can help increase your body’s ability to recover from exercise.
Within the body there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other parts of the body function best with more range of motion.
ACE Personal Trainer manual (5th Edition) has a helpful list locating key mobility and stability areas within the body’s kinetic chain:
If you have ever taken one of my classes, you may have heard me speak...
As an experienced Pilates instructor, certified Exercise Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist, many new clients have come to me with over-use injuries, even with a few acute injuries. While healing acute injuries is not within my scope of practice (that is the purpose of a medical doctor and a physiotherapist) I can help you prevent future injuries and work with your current chronic pain and over use injuries.
Chronic injuries develop over time. They often develop from poor movement patterns. Patterns we have formed over years depending on the type of work we do, how many hours we sit in a day, how we walk and stand, and how we move our bodies with load (our bodyweight) and what trauma our bodies have experienced in the past. Every individual is unique with their own habitual movement patterns.
However, it's guaranteed that if we don't work on fixing our patterns at a certain point incorrect movement patterns will cause pain, discomfort, and/or...
I have been purposely practicing movement since I was a child. From the age of five doing acrobatics and ballet to aerobics (think bright purple unitard with leg warmers) at my local community centres in my teens.
I have always loved movement so deciding to become a fitness professional in my 20s was a no brainer.
In my 20s, while personal training my Toronto clientele, I also trained as an endurance athlete, and also in my early 30s when my children were little. I moved into heavy weight lifting in my late 30s. During these years I always practiced yoga as a recovery method, balancing my other activities and trying to stay injury free.
In my mid-40s, I found Barre, and have enjoyed the amazing transformation in my body. And then recently, about one year ago, I discovered Pilates. I immediately fell in love with the practice. I found the articulation of the spine (flexion, extension, rotation, and side flexion) fascinating. In yoga, we mainly keep the spine...